Small business owners or entrepreneurs interested in opening a successful business are encouraged to get in touch with Dr. Carol Collum, the certified SCORE mentor now seeing clients at the BAPA office on Wednesdays. Collum is one of 13,000 volunteers nationwide who help small businesses through the SCORE Association, a not-for-profit organization that matches business owners with the expert help they need.
SCORE offers free one-on-one mentoring and consulting, as well as free or low cost business education topics on a variety of topics. Like Collum, SCORE volunteers are experienced business executives and entrepreneurs who share their expertise to help small businesses succeed.
“I work with people to take their dreams, goals and aspirations to the next level,” Collum said, explaining that she works with SCORE clients on a variety of small business issues, but specializes in business start-ups.
“Planning is the most critical part of opening a business,” Collum said, Her mentoring services include creating business plans; meeting governance and compliance regulations; and counseling on finances and loan resources.
“I’m open to helping whoever has a business concept or idea,” Collum said. “I will ask the probing questions and bring reality to the conversation.”
SCORE has established strong partnerships, locally and nationally, to provide access to small business resources. “In my role as Co-Vice Chair of Diversity for SCORE, one of my goals is to provide free mentoring to local businesses and entrepreneurs, and to provide small business resources throughout of local communities,” Collum said.
Appointments with Collum can be made through the SCORE Chicago website. This is the process: Visit scorechicago.org, click on “mentoring appointments,” enter 60643 in the “connect through zip code” option, choose “find a mentor,” fill out and submit the form, which will take you to the Beverly Area Planning Association calendar where you can see and select Collum’s available appointments.